When you picture your young children growing up and starting their first jobs is safety something that crosses your mind? When our children are young we care so much about their safety; we don’t let them cross the street without holding an adults hand and we don’t let them ride their bikes without wearing a helmet. Why should sending them into the workforce be any different? Would you send your child into a construction site without a hard hat? As a parent, it is our responsibility to teach our children about safety before they start their first job and find out what safety is the hard way. No parent deserves the phone call to inform them of an injury or a death involving their child.
Start the Learning Early
Like the saying goes “Monkey see, Monkey do” young children learn by example, so set a good example for your children. Safety starts at home, when children see parents being safe there is a greater chance that they will take the same approach to similar tasks they are required to do as part of their first job. If you’re out in the garage cutting up some two by fours for a yard project bring your kids out, teach them the hazards associated and how they can protect themselves. Buy your kids some safety gear and have them “dress up” like mom or dad when they go to work.
Teach Kids to Ask Questions
Once children reach the age where they are ready and eager to start their first job, they need to know that it is ok to ask their employer questions. Teach your children to speak up, asking these five easy questions could help save their lives at work.
- How can I be injured doing my job?
- What safety procedures do I need to follow?
- Who will give me safety training?
- Do I need any safety gear?
- What happens if I get hurt?
Alberta has multiple young worker resources that you as parents can use to teach your children about workplace safety before sending them out into the workforce. The government has developed many resources for parents including tip sheets, videos and interactive websites.
By: Denise Castle, July 2017